By David Sanford | For Cello and Piano | 12′
Title: 22 Part 1
Composer: David Sanford
Year Composed: 1995
Instrumentation: For Cello and Piano
Format: Full Score + 1 Part
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0301
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From the composer:
22 Part I was written for Eric Bartlett and Aleck Karis in 1995-96. Its completion was aided by a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts/Department of State. Its two movements constitute the kernel and initial gesture of a spiralling three-part work utilizing progressively larger forces (in the vein of Berio’s Chemins). Although the piece employs an eleven-note set, the significance of the title has more to do with the semiotic capacity of numbers – an idea found in works such as Michael Mantler’s 13, George Crumb’s Black Angels, Peter Greenaway’s film Drowning by Numbers, and Ralph Pace’s drill for the 1976 27th Lancers drum and bugle corps.
Geoffrey Burleson writes in the liner notes to the Oxingale recording Odd Couple:
22 Part 1 immediately projects a sense of defiant individuality between the two instruments by starting with a dynamic solo piano cadenza. Initially very gestural, a kind of chromatic jazz bass line slowly emerges in the piano’s opening. The cello joins in with a few interjections and long sustained notes, and finally asserts itself with its own soloistic line over a dissonant funk groove from the piano. Then, the cello gets its own cadenza, which is followed by a quiet reconciliation between the two instruments, and a climactic showdown. The second movement begins with alternating ethereal and declamatory passages, finally leading to a funk apotheosis. The title of the work was inspired by an uncanny ubiquity of the number “22” in the composer’s life. As Dave explains it:
“The number 22 has always seemed to pop up in my life. I was born on August 22, my wife on December 22; I loved Mingus, who was born on February 22, 1922; many of my sports heroes wore the number; and I lived at two houses with that number in Boston (one when I was 22 years old), where I met my first girlfriend, who lived at 22 Symphony Road.”
Commission/Dedication: To Eric Bartlett and Aleck Karis.
Premiere: First performed February 11, 1998 at the Koscsiuszko Foundation in New York, NY by Eric Barlett and Peggy Kampmeier.
Recording: This work is recorded on Oxingale Records’ album Odd Couple, and PENTATONE‘s Cello JAZZ by Matt Haimovitz (cello) and Geoff Burleson (piano).
Listen to a couple excerpts of 22 Part I: